A Few Ground Rules

It’s been quite a week here on Play the Advantage.

I went about trying to prove that the Champions League referee screwed up, and woke up the next morning to find myself Bjorn Kuipers’ greatest defender. (I got your back, Bjorn.)

I’m all for open dialogue and chewing the fat, as we say in America, but I do have a few ground rules and I’ve put the comments here on moderation so that we all follow them.

First off, as long as you’re respectful and polite, I will publish your comment, even if I disagree with you. I may get bored responding to you if you keep repeating some version of “Because I said so!”, but I will publish it.

However, if you’re disrespectful, mean-spirited or just downright annoying, I will not. Like a referee adding stoppage time, it’s totally up to my discretion. (See what I did there?)

As for comments directed to me, anything beginning with any form of “you stupid so-and-so” is not going to get published, obviously. Any comment starting “You don’t know anything about football” will likewise be ignored. (It doesn’t take long hanging around this site to know that yeah, actually, I do.)

I’m not exactly thin-skinned, but I’m under no obligation to let you trash me on my own blog. Go do that on your blog.

Finally, I get that not everyone is as universally fond of referees (even Dutch ones) as I am. And I don’t expect everyone to be all nicey-nice all the time.

But if you say anything that feels threatening about a referee and/or their families, do know that I take that seriously. I care more about their safety than your freedom of speech, and I’ll pass threatening messages on to the authorities.

So basically, let’s all be respectful, play nice with others, and don’t run with scissors.



  • No Respect No Referee No Game or as they would say in Hungary Nem Tiszteli Nem Játékvezető Nem Játék. Whatever the language the message is the same, show the referee some respect, without them there would be no football & Saturday afternoon would be spent down the DIY store instead!

    Referees are human & will make mistakes, it’s a simple fact of life. When slating a referee fans should put it into perspective and also remember the sitters missed by their star striker, the wayward passes from their midfield, the hapless defending that let the opposition striker waltz on through on goal, their goalkeeper remaining rooted to the spot as the ball goes past him into the back of the net. Sneaky dives/pushes etc out of sight of the referee, players spending 90 mins trying to con the referee – why do fans accept that as being ok but a referee calling one wrong on a judgement call he has to make in a split second from a single angular view that may be partially obscured while often running at speeds to rival Usain Bolt costs them the whole season and they should be hung, drawn and quartered for it is beyond me! Player errors are the more frequent factors in teams losing a match than a single referee decision but yes occasionally a referee makes a real howler that can be game changing. The days players are perfect is the day I for one will expect referees to be as well, until then I shall accept a referee calling one wrong the same as I will accept my star striker missing an open net from 3 feet away!

    I also find most referee error, according to football fans at least, is not error at all but the fans own lack of knowledge of the Laws of the Game. The amount of times in a match you hear a linesman berated for a late flag, that isn’t late at all but is simply down to the difference between a player being in an offside position, which is not an offence and him being offside as defined within the Laws of the Game because a fan does not know the difference! I blame the TV companies myself, before the match has even restarted after an incident they have footage from 24 different camera angles, slowed down, zoomed in to show how and why the referee called it wrong & people have simply forgotten the referee doesn’t have the benefit of all of those views and replays, yet expect them to have seen everything the TV cameras do. Pundits don’t help either, there are very few who actually know the LOTG, a classic on sky a few weeks ago – the commentator was criticising the referee for not allowing a quick free kick saying he should have let whichever team it was take it quickly and book the player after it had been taken instead of holding the game up to give out the booking… Ummmm No – it’s quite specific in the LOTG that he cannot do that, the player has to be booked before play recommences!! Thanks to that particular commentators lack of knowledge twitter was awash with abuse about the referee for not allowing a quick free kick despite him being perfectly correct. Modern football!!

    Liked by 1 person

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